To the extent that the biological weapons narrative provides a justification for Putin’s invasion, and also an opportunity to tarnish the United States and dent its global soft power, this is a game that China’s been happy to play.
Russia and China have very different long-term goals and interests. But in the near term, they both want to tarnish the appeal of the United States; they both want to sort of undermine the salience and the moral authority of liberal institutions like NATO.
[On Russian citizen's response to government propaganda] One of the hardest things for outsiders to assess is what messages are reaching Russian audiences – what information they have access to and what is resonating.
[While the FBI, the National Security Agency and several other government agencies have long worked on foreign interference,] we are not organized in a way where we are building a coherent threat picture.